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FCA Trenton Engine Complex employee Michael Williams helps assemble the 10-millionth Pentastar V6 engine on Feb. 13. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
FCA Trenton Engine Complex employee Michael Williams helps assemble the 10-millionth Pentastar V6 engine on Feb. 13.

FCA builds 10-millionth Pentastar V6

Second-gen gasoline powerplant popular for fleet and business vehicles now powers half of most FCA North American light vehicles and has provided a flexible base for further technological advancements.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles marked a milestone in engine and parts production as it rolled the 10-millionth Pentastar V6 off the line Wednesday, Feb. 13 at its Trenton, MI Engine Complex. The OEM noted the engines now account for half of all the powerplants going into Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Ram Commercial vehicles.  

With this year's launch of the forthcoming 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup, Pentastar V6s will be available in 16 models across 10 vehicle segments. That includes many models popular with business fleets like the Ram 1500 Tradesman.

The OEM pointed to the Pentastar engine's versatility, noting that with little or no modification, it can accommodate longitudinal or transverse mounting and allow for different front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

The Pentastar V6 has also made for considerable parts simplification and standardization, ultimately, in FCA's gasoline engines. Within four years of its launch in 2010, the OEM said the Pentastar V6 helped it replace seven six-cylinder engine families with a single V6 design that can deliver responsiveness, ample power and improved fuel efficiency in all the vehicles in which it is offered.

The second generation of the engine released in 2015 boosted torque output by up to 14.9% at low engine speeds below 3,000 rpm for much improved off-the-line power, which also made it well-suited for work truck applications. Other upgrades included cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, or EGR, technology for greater operating efficiency, particularly under high load situations.

Photo: Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner

The 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman features the capable Pentastar 3.6L V6 as its standard engine.

For the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup, that more advanced, second-generation 3.6L Pentastar was adapted and further refined to accommodate the new eTorque electric mild-hybrid system, FCA explained. That improves fuel economy with stop-start functionality and short bursts of up to 90 lbs.-ft. torque during acceleration from an electric motor supplementing power from the V6.  

It all makes the Pentastar V6 a particular success story for FCA, providing a solid and ultimately more cost-effective powerplant that's got the flexibility needed in a range of applications, including—and perhaps particularly—business and commercial use. 

"Pentastar engines do exactly what they were engineered to do. They deliver satisfying experiences in a wide range of driving conditions," said Bob Lee, head of engine, powertrain and electrified propulsion and systems engineering for FCA North America. "The Pentastar family has all the hallmarks of an enduring icon."

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